• 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scan;
  • carcinoid;
  • carcinoid syndrome;
  • neuroendocrine tumour


Introduction:  Pulmonary carcinoid tumour is low-grade neuroendocrine malignancy that is seen 1%–2% of all lung neoplasms. Oncocytic carcinoid type is a rarely seen variant of pulmonary carcinoids. As carcinoid tumours have hypometabolic activity, they usually have lower 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake than expected for lung carcinoma on positron emission tomography (PET).

Case Report:  A 45-year-old non-smoking man had a stable solitary pulmonary nodule followed for 6 years; the tumour remained the same size (1.5 × 2.4 cm) during this period. The patient was admitted to the hospital with complaints of repetitive sneezing and rhinorrhoea. He also experienced flushing and bronchospasm. His chest X-ray revealed a minimal increase in the size of the solitary pulmonary nodule (2.0 × 2.8 cm). In PET-computed tomography (CT), the parenchymal nodule in the anterior segment of the right lung had a standard uptake value of 38.0 mg/mL, which was interpreted as a malignant nodule. He underwent fibre-optic bronchoscopy, but cytology showed no evidence of malignancy. Right upper and middle bilobectomy was performed, and a pulmonary carcinoid tumour with an oncocytic subgroup was diagnosed. The diagnosis of carcinoid syndrome was further confirmed by an elevated 24-h urinary excretion of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

Conclusion:  We present a rare case of an oncocytic carcinoid tumour with an increase in the size of a solitary pulmonary nodule after 6 years' follow-up. In addition, PET-CT showed a very high 18F-FDG uptake in this patient, which is an unexpected finding with a pulmonary carcinoid tumour.

Please cite this paper as: Turan O, Ozdogan O, Gurel D, Onen A, Kargi A and Sevinc C. Growth of a solitary pulmonary nodule after 6 years diagnosed as oncocytic carcinoid tumour with a high 18F-FDG uptake in positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT). Clin Respir J 2013; 7: e1–e5.